Mukkaru is a an ancient race from another country who had migrated to Sri Lanka during the times of the ancient kings. Some believe that they are Arabics and some say they are either from Malabar or Kerala in India. Mukkaru’s were gem specialists and had come to Sri Lanka specially for mining and trading of gems.
It said that the Mukkaru teams came in groups of 7, 12 and 20 in numbers. Some Mukkaru groups were directly working for the kings and worked in royal gem pits. They had been paid by the kings in gems themselves. Most Mukkaru people worked in the country until their death and some even say that the kings didn’t allow the these people to go back to their own countries for the fear of exposing the country to war if they expose the value of gems being mined.
Some Mukkaru members who died during mining were buried near the mines they have been working and these graves are now known as Mukkaru Sohonas ( Mukkaru Graves) and lies deep inside jungles where the gems were mined in ancient times.
At one time these Mukkaru Graves were a prime targets of treasure hunters who believed that valuable gems were buried with the bodies of the dead. But what most of them found out were small bottles of oil and pieces of charcoal.
But a new frenzy among the treasure hunters has started again where they have started re excavating mukkaru graves in the jungles now believing that the gems are buried at 6-7 feet deep below the water lines.
Unfortunately the government has turned a blind eye to all this illegal activities and destruction of what could have been part of the heritage which has now almost disappeared.
The Nilgala Mukkaru Sohona lies in the area Kalled Makara in In Nilgala Forest Area. To reach the site you need to access the park from Nilgala Forest Area lying between Bibile – Inginiyagala Road. The turn off is at Bulupitiya which is 42 kms from Inginiyagala and 21 km from Bibile town.
Map of Nilgala Mukkaru Sohona
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Traveling Directions to Nilgala Mukkaru Sohona
Route from Colombo to Nilgala Mukkaru Sohona
|Through : Kandy – Bibile|
Distance : 287 km
Travel time : 7 hours
Driving directions : see on google map